Continuing through the bible chronologically and working through the Psalms aligned with I Chronicles and the assigned gatekeepers, the Sons of Korah.
Psalm 46 (NIV Chronological)
- For the director of music
- Of the Sons of Korah
- According to Alamoth
- A song
Verses 1-3 describe some terrifying seismic events and the author states that they will not fear because God is our refuge and strength.
I keep reading verse 4; but son't quite get it in this translation:
There is a river whose stream make glad the city of God, the Holy Place where the Most High dwells.Psalm 46:4
A big river, whose stream (personification) can make glad a city? The city that is the dwelling place for the Most High, no less!
Verses 5-6 assure us that God can protect His city. He can protect nations and destroy planets. Verse 7 emphasizes that that God is our Fortress.
Verse 8- Come and see what the Lord has done...destruction and peace. Peace through destruction, to be more precise.
And then...in verse 10...one of the best phrases we see in His Holy Word:
He says, "Be still and know that I am God...Psalm 46:10
And then the author ends with the reiteration that God is with us and is our fortress.
(The NIV footnote notes that the word "Selah" is found at the end of verse 3, 7, and 11. It notes that the word of of uncertain meaning.)
I am falling in love with the Psalms. I would rather have a plot line when I'm reading, so I'm fond of the "stories" and was sort of dreading the Psalms. But I am falling in love.
This is the exact kind of scripture that keeps us strong in the power of the Lord when the world wants to drag us away from faith to fear. From worship to hollow outrage over the wasted news of the day.
Rooted in the rock.
We play how we practice.
Psalm 46 (NASB Ryrie Study Bible)
God is our refuge and strength, A very present help in trouble.Psalm 46:1
I love that. "A very present help." That's quite a description. I don't think that's always true. Maybe in emergencies when we've put our back up against A wall. But to feel that with this kind of assurance, I believe, takes drawing close to him daily. Knowing how to hear Him and know His word. That is a very present help. You're leaning in and trying to understand Him and His plan and His Will. You know who to cry to for rescue. And you know He is near.
Recently I listened to a popular celebrity psychologist that I really liked. He is known for hi practical self-help model that is rooted in personal responsibility. Until he started talking about Jesus. He said that Jesus gave us two examples: help heal the suffering in the world by taking it on ourselves and help face down evil, like Jesus did in the desert. Rather than seeing Jesus do that for us; so we'd know we could cry out to Jesus for rescue; this man wanted us to believe that all of that lives inside us and we can be Jesus in our own little worlds.
Now long after the video I was watching had been filmed that man had a complete break down that required hospitalization and rehab. There were totally valid reasons for the breakdown and I have the utmost compassion for him. We all break. And I still think he has some practical, valid wisdom.
However, he really missed the mark by trying to encourage people to be their own Jesus. the author of this Psalm had better advice...take refuge in the Most High God. Not yourself. No one can rescue themselves from the kinds of things the world will throw at us.
The rest of the Psalm read as similar to the NIV.
Psalm 46 (Wiersbe Commentary)
- The basis of Martin Luther's "A Mighty Fortress is Our God"
- Inspired by the event of the deliverance of Jerusalem from the Assyrians during the reign of King Hezekiah.
- Psalm 47 and 48 probably come from the same events.
- King Hezekiah was a poet and probably wrote all three.
The reason we can have that kind of confidence in Him is that He has offered us a covenant love. We don't have to wonder how He feels about us or how well we've done or how high the waves are or how low the mountain fell. Our faith in His love is rooted in the covenant He made with us.
Okay, here's Wiersbe's take on verse 4 that confused me, "There is a river whose stream make glad the city of God, the Holy Place where the Most High dwells."
During this time, the Assyrians had Jerusalem surrounded. One thing a city under siege cannot live without is water. I guess King Hezekiah was wise and had an underground water system connect tow sources of water- so Jerusalem was provided for and happy. God's city had life, a living water if you will, in Him. His Holy and High city.
It sounds like the siege was ended by God speaking the words and 185,000 Assyrian soldiers were slaughtered and broken by the angel of God.
And just like the final section (v 8-11) is the aftermath. The Israelites were told to be still (stop your warring ways) and know that I am the Lord of Hosts. I win these battles for you. And they saw His awful strength and power for their good.
Sometimes the nations rage. We see that happening right now in our own country. However, our refuge, our strong tower is in Christ, who died to overcome death that we might be more than conquerors. He is our defender and we're safest when we let Him bring peace His way. Amen.